March 28, 2021
In a day and age where everyone is walking around carrying a portable GPS/supercomputer in their pockets, it should be of no surprise that location data can help track you at almost any given point in the day.
But while this may be semi-expected, one way in which people may not know they’re offering up information is through photographs.
Metadata became a national issue when comparisons of two photographs of former President Trump at Walter Reed Medical Center were scrutinized closely to try and determine whether they were staged or not, BBC notes. Metadata also led to authorities being able to detain John McAfee in 2012, after a photograph’s location data revealed he was in Guatemala at the time.
This data “automatically and parasitically burrows itself into every photo you take,” BBC notes. And while it’s not impossible to get rid of, most people don’t even realize that it’s there before widely sharing their photographs on social media. And while some platforms remove sensitive information, like where a photo was taken, others don’t.